15 December 2009
Just some quick thoughts about some rumblings and other Lightning stuff
- Last week Pierre Lebrun talked about how Vinny hasn't looked like the Vinny we have come to expect. I really think he hit the nail on the head when he wrote "His coach doesn't seem to know how to use him. It's just a bad fit right now.", which to me is completely true. Lebrun doesn't say that he's gonna be traded like right now, but that Vinny will have to evaluate his future in some point over the next 12 months.
- Elliotte Friedman then commented on Lebrun's comments, saying that "Lecavalier simply does not trust Lightning management/ownership after everything that happened last year. No matter what anyone connected with that franchise says - number four was available for trade." Gainey even came out at his end of the year press conference commenting about the possible trade talks that he says were made public by the Lightning.
- Friedman also reminded us that Brian Lawton's contract is up after this year.
- In Friedman's 30 thoughts this week #12: Know there was a lot of debate about Vincent Lecavalier following last week's column. Don't think any trade would happen during the season. After this year is over, I'd expect there will be some kind of sitdown. If the same management group is in place, he would be willing to explore trade options.
Interesting stuff that is going behind the scenes for the Lightning. The Lecavalier contract was one of the first things announced as OK Hockey took over the team, the announcement was a big show for the fans saying to them that they were going to keep the superstar in Tampa for a very long time. A show of good faith to the fans from the new owners, but I get the feeling that a lot of things were promised to Vinny to get him to feel comfortable to sign an 11 year deal, commiting as a Lightning for life. I think the general expectation would be that he would play for another 7 years or so, then maybe move upstairs into the Lightning office. But now here we are with after completing a losing season, and are now in the midst the start of what looks like another losing season, Lecavalier will need to re-evaluate where the team is headed and if that is the direction he wants to go in his career.
It's not like he can't be moved, I know that teams would want him. Personally I could see him fitting in LA maybe? But really, with the NTC, it's really up to him where he wants to play. Dany Heatley demonstrated that when he got the move to the Sharks this past summer, with a gigantic contract and a move to a team that he wanted. Sure the Heatley trade rumours could have been handled better, but in the end the trade happened. Depending on how the rest of the season goes, and what direction the team may take which we will see depending on who the GM will be next year, those factors will influence Lecavalier's decision.
Will we see him move now? No probably not.
There were 3 players in contention for cracking the Team Canada roster: Lecavalier, St. Louis and Stamkos. How many of them will actually be announced on the roster? Maybe none. Lecavalier is playing in a funk, and according to Jeff Marek on the Kurtenblog radio show a couple weeks ago, it was said that Lecavalier was not high as a favorite on Yzerman's list due to his 2 way style of play. St. Louis has not been playing well either with only 5 goals so far and is sitting at a -5. And Stamkos has just been playing himself off of the team over the last few games, no goals, no assists in 5 games and a -2. So maybe there will be no Lightning players on the Canadian Olympic team? They only have a few more days if they want to impress Yzerman and Lowe before the roster announcement.
Brian Lawton came out and said this to the media today:
"I have complete confidence in the group," Lawton said. "At some point everybody in that room recognizes and understands that this business, everything around it, is predicated on winning. But as far as my confidence level in the group, I have tremendous confidence in the guys there. They’ve just got to get the job done. They realize that. I’m not saying anything that they’re not aware of."-St. Petersburg Times
But then, what else is Lawton going to say? Tocchet tried the player trashing to the media earlier in the year, and from what I observed, it didn't really work. Not being behind your players probably doesn't help their trade value either. Must have been a slow news day if this was the only thing that was in the Lightning news today.
The roster freeze start this Saturday, so if there are any moves to be made it will be done soon.